Birthday Reunion at Breede River House

This weekend the twins celebrated their 48th birthday and we were fortunate to be able to all get away to the Breede River to help them enjoy their special day.  Breede River House was a large and comfortable place to stay and it accommodated all 15 of us (Gill came too) with ease.  Admittedly the drive down to the house was pretty steep, but we negotiated it okay and the only downside to the weekend was the weather.  After a sweltering week, the rain came in on the back of a stiff south-easter, so we were limited in our outdoor activities.

Fortunately the property is equipped with all the toys, so Michael was able to take all the kids and his brothers out on the river skiing or tubing. They had a ball, but found it warmer in the water than out!  We even managed to see a few birds, but, once again, the weather mitigated against any hiking or proper bird watching.  We ate and drank well and played lots of the many games that came with the house!

A Walk to Sopiesklip

A break in the miserable late December weather allowed us to take a walk to Sopiesklip and back.  Needless to say, with many holiday makers around the beach was very active, but the numbers had thinned out considerably by the time we reached our destination, 6 km from the end of Grotto Beach.  It was a really pleasant walk and gave us a good appetite for the lunch at The Hermanus Brewery on our return.

Gill’s Birthday Bash at Robertson

Gill kindly invited ten old friends to join her for her 80th birthday at the historic farm, Riverton, where we stayed in Barry House, an old building reeking with tradition and Barry family memorabilia.  We didn’t all know each other when we arrived on Tuesday, but by the time we had to leave this morning, the ice had been well and truly broken.  For those who had known one another in the past, it was an opportunity to renew and rekindle old friendships.  Gill and Pam did a wonderful job keeping us well fed and Renee and I made the most of our chances to do some birding.

The latter was amazing right on our doorstep, when, yesterday afternoon, on a short walk, we saw African Fish Eagle, Martial Eagle, African Harrier-Hawk, Booted Eagle and Black Sparrow Hawk, all within a period of around 5 minutes!!  All in all, with a visit to Vrolijkheid Reserve at MacGregor, we identified 70 species, so we were well pleased with the outing!


Breede River Camp

A visit to David and Tanja’s camp on the Breede river at Rivierzicht near Robertson yesterday was an eye opener in terms of a well set up camp.  Together with their friends they have occupied a prime riverside site and their camp has all the facilities required for a comfortable outdoor holiday.   Water activities feature prominently, with ongoing fishing (Jordan has caught around 80 kg of fish in a week!) and fun in the sun.  A passing floating restaurant was happy to give just about all the campers a tow down river on their various flotation devices.  It made for a happy scene.


A Weekend on the Breede

We had our annual family reunion at River Queen on the Breede River this weekend. Sadly James and Travis could not be with us, but Gill came along and we had a lot of fun.  The food was quite fantastic and the weather was good, so we were able to enjoy the river and had some good walks and saw a good few birds, including a Lesser Honeyguide!

It is always such a pleasure to be with one’s family and to see how well we all get along. I think the neighbours could be forgiven for thinking we were all on laughing gas!

RIP Sprinkle


Yesterday we said farewell to Sprinkle, our beloved Burmese, after having shared our lives with her for just over nineteen years.  The house is empty without her and her absence makes us realise how much she meant to all of us who knew her.

Born on the fourth of July 1999, and christened La Berni Katya, we renamed her Sprinklefeather and she became known as Sprinkle.  Many neighbours looked after her in her youth when she was prone to wander, but she settled into our home in Prestwick Village when we moved here three years ago and seldom left the house during that time.

As Gillian said, she was the coolest cat, and had us firmly under her thumb at all times!

A Weekend with the Twins

We were delighted when Andrew and Michael brought their families (sans James, unfortunately) to Hermanus for the weekend, but sorry that David could not make it. The weather was warm and we had some good walks and a fine lunch at Stanford Harvest.  Our walk up Adder’s Ladder to Kanonkop in the early morning was especially good and we enjoyed a gourmet breakfast at the summit before venturing down through the magnificent displays of Roella incurva on the south facing slopes.

We were also lucky enough to see some good birds, including Cape Rock Thrush, Neddicky, Cape Siskin, African Paradise Flycatcher, Cape Grassbird and others.

‘River Queen’ continued

Our visit to ‘River Queen’ included some birding and we managed to see 73 species in the immediate area, but strangely, no Kingfishers.  We also walked in the surrounding veld and noted a few interesting flowers, the most exciting one being an Orchid, Holothrix, but we were unable to identify the species.

Keagan picked up my camera and showed his skill as a portrait photographer with some good images.

A Weekend on the Breede River at ‘River Queen’

Our annual family get-together took place over the long weekend at ‘River Queen’ on the Breede River just downstream from Malgas.  It was a large and funky house that could cater for all 14 of us and we had a wonderful re-union, with lots of superb food and great company.

Sadly the weather was not what it might have been, but that did not stop the fun, although it did not make for good fishing!  The braai was in constant use and the quality of the meals was outstanding!

All the grandchildren are teenagers for the first time, and it has been interesting to see them grow from babies at our first re-union, to what they are today.  We are very proud of them all!

The place itself was fascinating! There was so much interesting ‘stuff’ everywhere, in the garden, on the walls and on every surface. It offered the photographer an opportunity to capture some beautiful textures and compositions.